The Saint Louis Cardinals were handed a three-hit shutout on Wednesday night in Houston, suffering a 2-0 loss to the Houston Astros in the midst of their playoff push.
Astros starter Bud Norris (6-13) pitched 7-1/3 scoreless innings, giving up just two hits while striking out seven in the win. The Cardinals pushed Norris out of the game in the eighth inning by getting two runners on with no outs. Carlos Beltran, who did not start, came in to pinch hit with a chance to reclaim the game, but was induced into a harmless grounder by reliever Wilton Lopez, who was able to end the inning without allowing a run.
Chris Carpenter (0-1) suffered his first loss in what was only his second start of the season due to a shoulder injury. He gave up just four hits over six innings, but allowed a solo home run to Jose Altuve in the fourth inning that put Saint Louis in a hole.
The loss gives the Cardinals a three-game advantage in the loss column over the Milwaukee Brewers and Los Angeles Dodgers for the final National League wild card spot. Saint Louis will take Thursday off before finishing the season on a six-game home stand against the Washington Nationals and Cincinnati Reds.